Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How I overthink things

Man, I need to change my blogger profile picture. It's old. And much fatter.

I have almost completely decided to forgo the Easter Bunny and Santa this year. While I seriously never saw myself being this mom, I have always been bothered by the commercialism of both holidays, but especially Easter. It is, arguably, the most important holiday on the Christian calendar, but when it comes to kids, everyone's focus is the Easter Bunny. Mehhh, I'm bothered by it, and I, PERSONALLY, don't see a way to focus ENTIRELY on Jesus' resurrection while at the same time focusing on the Easter Bunny and loading Ace up with oodles of candy and toys. You might, and that's cool. This is just what I feel I want to do with my kid. He's very literal, very one-track mind. If he's gonna focus on one thing, I'd rather it be Jesus.

(I'm not saying the kid's gonna be empty-handed on Easter morning. He'll get a basket, but the meager contents within will be from me and Drew, not the Easter Bunny.)

But how do I do this? Ace is a huge tattle tale - if I tell him outright that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, he's gonna be THAT kid and tell everyone the secret. Ace doesn't understand secrets. Are his friends' parents going to want to avoid him, lest he spoil the secret? Are my friends going to avoid me? Does this mean we can't go to the Easter egg hunt this Saturday as we'd planned, because he's going to be told the Easter Bunny hid the eggs? What do I tell people when they ask him what the Easter Bunny brought him? Since it's very likely that most of his friends will believe in the Easter Bunny and will get tons of toys and candy, if the Easter Bunny didn't get him anything and he just got a little basket full of fruit and nuts, will he think he was bad?

Can I just somehow make it a lesson in diversity? I don't necessarily want to *protect* him from the Easter Bunny. WE may not believe in the Easter Bunny, but other people do, and that's okay. (Because it is. As I discussed in a recent blog post, I don't care what you do with your kids. Different parenting ideas are okay.)

I'm just not sure how I'm gonna handle it this year. Ace is not really a big-picture kind of kid. He certainly doesn't believe in the Easter Bunny at this point, since I don't think he even has a concept of a magical candy- and toy-delivering bunny. (He probably doesn't have much of a concept of God, either, for that matter.) I don't think he'll care that the Easter Bunny didn't bring him anything... Shoot, I don't really think he'd notice if he didn't get anything at all, till people start asking him what the Easter Bunny brought him. Even then, I doubt he'd care.

Maybe I can put it all off till next year.

I'll think about it when I've had more sleep.


The Ruter Family said...

Although we did the Santa thing with Anna (and regretted it when I told her the truth and she screamed "you lied!!" at me), she's never believed in the Easter Bunny. She got some gifts, but they were always from us. I agree with you, for me Easter should not be about the bunny but about the Resurrection.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

People ask what the Easter Bunny brought? My parents always told us they bought the candy (never toys) and that the Bunny hid them.

I have friends who didn't go the Santa/Bunny route, either, and I think they just said that it's not something to talk about with other kids because their parents might play "the game" (or something like that). We broke the news to Little Girl this year (she's suspected for a while) on Santa, and she figured out the Bunny and Tooth Fairy on her own. We focused on Saint Nicholas versus fat dude in the red suit. But she's going on nine.

Wanda M said...

My in-laws never have done the Santa or Easter Bunny thing either....and her kids have never told mine that they weren't real. Cassie has figured it out and I bet Bailee has too.....but they still like to pretend. Let me clarify that we do talk about the TRUE and REAL reasons for Easter and Christmas so we are not totally commercialized at all around here. Maybe Ace would not tell if you just tell him he got an Easter happy - don't make a big deal about it? :-) Good luck!

Wanda M

Allison said...

You're not overthinking things. Do what your gut tells you and don't worry about everybody else or Ace telling someone else. It's all silly.

Jo said...

You could always do the easter bunny but downplay it and make a HUGE deal about Jesus.

We do both here... although Blake is getting to the non-believing age.

I agree with Allison... do what your heart and gut tell you is the right thing for you :) Everyone is different.... you'll do great :)

Margaret said...

We're not doing anything for Easter this year except an Easter egg hunt at my parent's house and then church and lunch. We didn't say much about Santa either.
But we don't do the church angle either. I think Riley is a bit young to understand any of it so I just skip over it.

Watercolor said...

Maybe I'm the weird kid, but here is my experience of Santa and the EB. My parents never told me Santa or the EB didn't exist. I figured it out eventually but never said anything and just played along and started actually playing and leaving my own gifts for others. And we still send each other gifts from them. I came to see them as representative of the spirit of selfless giving of the season. St. Nichlas actually has a real Christmas tradition of this. It has never bothered me because it wasn't a commercialism of a religious holiday to me, but another dimension of the spirit of the deeper meaning, making it richer. Sure, I didn't get it as a 3 year old, but I did as I got older and still enjoy now. But then, I always was the weird kid after all, lol.

Watercolor said...

But then again I'm not talking about spending hundreds of dollars on gifts like a lot of folks do, either, lol. A small thoughtful something or such. A small bell for children (is a traditional Easter gift for ringing in the Alleluias in church), etc.

Katy said...

We don't do Santa or the Easter bunny. When people ask I just tell them, "oh, they don't come to our house." I've only had one person act like that was crazy and this was some random woman in the grocery store who didn't need to be talking to my kid anyway.

RhondaLue said...

This is a tough one because, like you said, he doesn't really get the "secret" thing. I get P.O'd if someone tells one of my little kids that Santa isn't real. Like real mad. Cuz I'm set on them experiencing that whole Santa Claus thing. that's just me though. It's secondary to the birth of Christ but we do still do Santa.

As for the Easter Bunny..I totally get your point and agree with you. We've never gone crazy with Easter candy or baskets and we don't do TOYS But I do like that tradition when it's kept simple. One thing we have done is to have Easter Bunny come the Morning before, do egg hunts and fun egg coloring, etc...and then have Easter morning and day be all about the resurrection. We also have what we call "Family Home Evenings" where each Monday night we have a short little lesson about God, honesty, or whatever value or lesson we feel like teaching the kids so the week before Easter we focus our lesson around that. They are short but it's nice for them to think about it all week and then when the day comes they understand more.

Good Luck in figuring out just the right thing to do. :)

jessica said...

I like the idea of saying the bunny just doesn't come to your house.

jessica said...
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